â€œThis is a difficult question to answer and Iâ€™m sure no two people will give the same answer and reasons.
It is my belief a garage should charge in accordance with their technical expertise.
A garage capable of doing a simple job such as the fitting of a new coil spring may not have the expertise to diagnose a fault with an ABS system.
Also not every garage will invest in new technologies which have to be paid for.
So, for a garage who can do only simple procedures maybe Â£40/hr is too much and for a garage who can carrie out the most complicated Â£70 may be too little.
The garage should be looking to maximise profits for a job well done and therefore should charge the maximum price.
A large proportion of the public actually believe the garages charging the least WILL find a fault in order to up the price.
Yes we do need formal licensing â€“ I feel this will push garages into choosing product on quality rather than price and this can only benefit the end user and therefore the industry.
This will only happen if there is a major issue (injury) caused by poor workmanship/quality.â€
Simon Salloway, AMK
â€œI would recommend a maximum charge with mandatory re-test for two reasons.
Firstly, by allowing flexibility in the pricing protocol, the message that could be received is that the degree of testing and re-testing may be flexible, too.
Secondly, it’s a government licence! You can’t negotiate the price of your
TV licence or road tax for example, so why should this an exception?â€
Steve Jarnet, Corteco
â€œNo, formal licensing would just be another cost burden for the independent sector. The Motor Codes voluntary code of practice should be promoted to raise awareness and give consumers the choice of where they prefer to have their vehicles maintained.Â There should however be only one code for the industry.â€
Steve Carolan, Dayco
â€œCharge the going rate for the local market and if you are better than the competition then charge more. Build your reputation on being good not cheap. Your labour is your point of expertise and should be valued accordingly. Do a good job and fit decent parts and your customers will keep coming back and ultimately you are taking a price argument out of the equation.
The price of an MOT should be fixed nationwide with a mandatory re-test fee. â€˜Cheapâ€™ MOTs undermine the reputation of the market.
If we want to build consumer confidence which places independent repairers in the same bracket as franchised repairers then yes we need something. We need a recognisable indicator of quality and consistency that consumers can trust.
Today the only real basis on which a motorist can confidently choose a garage is from personal recommendations. Whatever the solution is it needs to be instantly recognisable, brand neutral, with a clear warranty promise, a guarantee of parts quality and capture the attention of garages sufficiently to make its adoption quickly widespread. And most importantly standards must be enforced.
Motor Codes seems to tick the boxes but motorists donâ€™t really know about it and there doesnâ€™t appear to be anything like enough independents buying into it.
Jonathan Allen, Federal Mogul
â€œToday’s engines require specific training and investment in technology that did not exist in previous years and therefore the repair installer is, on the whole, much more qualified and professional and their fees should reflect that.
Licensing the independent sector would continue to improve the overall standard of the independent repairer and help support those garages that invest in current technology and materials to repair modern engines.â€
Nick Racklyef, Gates